Catch It at the Comic Shop May 22nd, 2019

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week...

James' Picks:

Invisible Kingdom #3 by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward, published by Dark Horse Comics
I'm enjoying this book so far. G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward (that's a hell of a team!) are telling what feels like a big, thought-provoking story about the intersection between commerce and religion and an alien world where the characters still feel very human. There's a religious order, and then there are people who work on a spaceship transporting goods for an Amazon-like company. I'm excited to see how it all comes together. Thankfully, it all looks great, with wonderful, colorful, stylized art from Christian Ward. Ward is a little more restrained here, not quite as psychedelic as Ody-C or Black Bolt, but still terrific, and I'm sure there will be opportunities for him to go crazy. 

Action Comics #1011 by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve Epting, published by DC Comics
Action Comics is a really fun read right now.  It's an espionage story, as Leviathan appears to be taking out all of the other secret organizations in the DCU. Lois and Clark went undercover, and Amanda Waller is there, and Jimmy Olsen. Bendis is telling an engaging, fun story here. He's accompanied on art by the wonderful Steve Epting, who's work on this book feels a little different than some of his other recent work - maybe a little looser, a little more playful. Regardless, he's great, and the whole team is firing on all cylinders here.

Sean's Picks:

Clue: Candlestick #1 by Dash Shaw, published by IDW
I have a whole lot of respect for the quirkiness in the style that is Dash Shaw. For one, he is partially responsible for getting me back into comic books after nearly a decade away. I stumbled across Bodyworld, his second graphic novel, in early 2011. It was his unique approach to storytelling through illustration that then caused me to seek out his debut, Bottomless Belly Button, and after that I completely convinced myself that I needed to be back as a comic enthusiast. Not only was Shaw partially responsible for my return to the comic book subculture, but he was also my first introduction to the all-inclusive creator. Dash Shaw does it all. He writes, he pencils, he colors and he letters his work down to the most intricate geometric detail. You can easily become lost in any one of these layers as you explore the world he spreads across the pages.

It’s been some time since I have seen new material from Shaw, and when I saw that he was bringing to life the classic story of Clue it was a no-brainer for me. Take a chance with this one, despite the oddity of the subject. [Editor's note: IDW is amazing at making board games become comics.] Trust me on this, and after reading a Shaw comic you may find yourself seeking out his work from the past. You're welcome in advance.

Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter #2 by Adam Glass, Olivia Cuartero-Briggs, Hayden Sherman, & Co., published by Aftershock 
I recommended the first issue of this book last month, and I am so glad that I did. It’s a great read and a deep exploration into the real story behind the person who brought us the literary classic Frankenstein. If you are okay with the idea that this is a comic literally turning upside down the idea that a nineteen year old girl lived (rather than created) the story that we all have come to love (or if you are simply a Sherman superfan, like many on the Panel Patter team) then it won’t be difficult for you to enjoy this book. Glass and Cuartero-Briggs offer a compelling story of fiction (or is it??) to a crowded comic book market of sci fi and post-apocalyptic stories. To those that skipped this one last month: Don’t, and to those that didn’t: Keep reading.
Friendo Vol 1 by Alex Paknadel, Martin Simmonds, Dee Cunniffe, and Taylor Esposito, published by Vault Comics
Toxic masculinity and mass consumerism. Those roll off the tongue at ease when said one after another. Just kidding.. they are both hideously gross no matter which way you say them. Friendo was one of my favorite monthly’s in late 2018 and will probably be on my year end list this year as part of my favorite collected stories. Paknadel and Simmonds have put together a well thought out story of one man’s journey down his own rabbit hole of obsession and possession. Simmonds’ art is so crisp and so clean and bright that it pairs perfectly with the story Paknadel is telling. It’s the kind of story that has you rooting for the one you have grown to hate. The characters are so heinous and so wicked.. but.. can.. not.. look.. away. Walter White, step aside… there’s a new guy to lovehate in town.

Faithless #2 by Brian Azzarello, Maria Llovel & Co., published by Boom! Studios
Put your anti-glare screen up and clear your browser after this one. Faithless isn’t for your breaktime office gig reading. This is from the twisted and seductive minds of Azzarello and Llovel. Synopsis: woman seeks love, woman finds love, love is another woman, other woman is a pile of locusts, pile of locusts is.. satan? I’m sticking around for this one for curiosity alone. What is the story? I am still a little unsure. Let’s find out together. I mean, but really.. it’s not a hard sell with Azzarello’s name on the cover. Right?

Mike's Picks:

Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter 2 by Adam Glass, Hayden Sherman, Olivia Cuartero-Briggs, and Sal Cipriano, published by Aftershock Comics
I was once an insufferable English major who was convinced that not only was Romanticism the peak of artistic expression, but that both the modern and the post-modern worlds were entirely in reaction to and outgrowth from it. Years later, I'm insufferable for far less pretentious reasons, but I still find myself a sucker for a throwback to the days of Promethean cults and dark heroes. I enjoyed the first issue of the series, but I was eager to get past the exposition and into the action. Issue 2 promises to advance the plot for a series that will continue to mix literary and pulp tropes together in a clever reimagination.

Drawing Blood: Spilled Ink/Radically Ronin Ragdolls by Kevin Eastman, Ben Bishop, and David Avallone, published by Kevin Eastman Studios
I think you have to buy both of these, right? Maybe you can skip the Ragdolls book. I don't know. I'm incredibly intrigued, though. The turtles at this point are nigh ubiquitous. For anyone even a little younger than man, they're fairly eternal. They seem to have always existed and will forever reboot and continue to exist in a slew of formats. The Turtles trajectory always astounded me - gritty and satiric black and white comic becomes a syndicated television show replete with action figures before being adapted into a dark movie featuring Jim Henson puppetry (muppetry?) far more faithful to the original comics eventually rising to the level of an hour-long Saturday morning CBS timeslot and later a few more random movies including one with Vanilla Ice and a live action television show only to be bought by Nickelodeon. Along the way, they appeared in an all ages Archie series in which they travelled around in a giant cow's head. Also, Usagi Yojimbo was somehow involved.

Wage Slaves by Daria Boganska and Hanna Stromberg, published by Conundrum Press
I'm very intrigued by this book. I don't read a lot of prose nonfiction or memoir, but I always find myself gravitating towards the graphic versions. Graphic novel memoirs set in other countries are that much more intriguing as the graphic version allows the reader to learn much more about the author's world than a prose version would permit. Wage Slaves is an autobiographical account of finding one's way as an immigrant in an unconcerned if not entirely unfriendly new landscape. Set in Malmo, Sweden, against the backdrop of the restaurant industry, Wage Slaves has the potential to be a wide-reaching, universal tale.
Friendo TPB by Alex Paknadel, Wayne Simmonds, Dee Cunniffe, and Taylor Esposito, published by Vault Comics
You've heard all of us Panel Patterers gush over the recent run of Vault Comics from the White Noise collective, and Friendo is exemplar of their remarkable quality of work. It is a prescient, harrowing polemic about the excesses of social media and the nefarious nature of multinational corporations as well as a commentary on the resulting loneliness of the connected generations. It's a poignant take of the privacy/convenience tradeoff with nods to late Gibson or even Pynchon.